First Bite

Welcome to Nation’s Restaurant News’ newest podcast, First Bite. This podcast, hosted by digital editor Holly Petre, is your morning burst of news followed by a deep dive into one of the trending stories of ...more

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Latest Episodes

August 30, 2022 00:06:05
What Chipotle's union means for the industry

What Chipotle's union means for the industry

Workers at a Lansing, Mich. Chipotle have officially formed the company’s first union.   The workers voted overwhelmingly last Thursday to form a union with the International Brotherhood of Teamsters, making it the first of the restaurant chain's 3,000 locations to organize. The unit in Augusta, Maine, where workers attempted to unionize was closed by Chipotle last month.   According to a release, workers are forming the union to improve their work schedules, increase wages, and gain the respect from management that they feel they've rightfully earned. The corporate-owned restaurant did not object to the filing.   The workers join the growing movement of unionization in the country, led by Starbucks with over 200 unionized stores across the U.S. Amazon and Apple have also seen unionization efforts by workers.   Chipotle has four locations in and around Lansing. Local 243, with union halls in Lansing and Plymouth Township, represents more than 4,000 workers across Michigan.   Senior editor Joanna Fantozzi has more on the story.   Plus, catch up on all the top news of the day with our daily news recap at the beginning of each episode.   Be sure to subscribe to First Bite wherever you get your podcasts or on Castos, Spotify, or Apple Podcasts. ...

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August 29, 2022 00:08:00
The virtual-restaurant conundrum

The virtual-restaurant conundrum

Welcome to First Bite, a Nation’s Restaurant News podcast, your daily source of news from NRN. Today, we’re talking about unmasking virtual restaurants and transparency. Virtual restaurants boomed during the pandemic. When brick and mortar became impossible to operate, businesses went online and a whole new batch of virtual restaurants popped up – some even part of other restaurants. Many of these restaurants had unknown origins while others were clearly related to parent companies as senior editor Joanna Fantozzi will explain ahead.  She recently wrote about the virtual brand conundrum and how restaurants should react to the changing landscape based on a very personal experience she had.  Listen to her tell her story on this episode. Plus, catch up on all the top news of the day with our daily news recap at the beginning of each episode. Be sure to subscribe to First Bite wherever you get your podcasts or on Castos, Spotify, or Apple Podcasts. ...

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August 26, 2022 00:05:43
How one casual-dining chain thrived with off-premises business

How one casual-dining chain thrived with off-premises business

Casual dining struggled during the pandemic mainly because it had been such an on-premises business before 2020, and the pandemic wiped that all out. That's when off-premises became the crux of everyone business and QSR became king, along with those that had drive-thrus. Soon, everyone was switching to off-premises, even opening casual-dining drive-thrus like that at Smokey Bones. One chain that focused on off-premises business was Texas Roadhouse and, as senior editor Ron Ruggless walks us through, they worked hard to gain their footing. Plus, catch up on all the top news of the day with our daily news recap at the beginning of each episode. Be sure to subscribe to First Bite wherever you get your podcasts or on Castos, Spotify, or Apple Podcasts. ...

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August 25, 2022 00:05:31
Kitchen United CEO talks business, tech companies report earnings

Kitchen United CEO talks business, tech companies report earnings

Today we’re going to be talking about Joanna Fantozzi’s column, Tech Tracker. Tech Tracker rounds up what's happening in the technology sector of the restaurant industry, including news from restaurants vendors, digital platforms and third-party delivery companies. This month, the main story comes from an interview with Kitchen United CEO Michael Montagano, who gave some insight into the ghost-kitchen company’s recent $100 million fundraising round with investments from a wide range of companies. Those companies include Burger King parent Restaurant Brands International, supermarket company The Kroger Co., Simon Shopping Malls and convenience-store chain Couche-Tard Circle K. Joanna has more on the story. Plus, catch up on all the top news of the day with our daily news recap at the beginning of each episode. Be sure to subscribe to First Bite wherever you get your podcasts or on Castos, Spotify, or Apple Podcasts. ...

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August 24, 2022 00:07:28
Behind the latest cocktail trend

Behind the latest cocktail trend

When customers choose to actually dine in a restaurant, rather than order take-out or delivery, they’re often looking to be dazzled a bit, charmed by great service or wowed by a dramatic presentation. Increasingly, the people in charge of running beverage programs are meeting those needs by serving cocktails that are more than mere drinks. There’s a bona fide trend of beverages with edible components. These go beyond the olives in a martini, or the occasional over-the-top grilled cheese sandwich on a brunchtime bloody Mary. Nowadays these side dishes come paired specifically with the cocktails that were ordered. Senior food and beverage editor Bret Thorn has the story on why these cocktails are becoming trendy and how it’s impacting business. Plus, catch up on all the top news of the day with our daily news recap at the beginning of each episode. Be sure to subscribe to First Bite wherever you get your podcasts or on Castos, Spotify, or Apple Podcasts. ...

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August 23, 2022 00:04:26
The new plant-based leader is... Burger King?

The new plant-based leader is... Burger King?

There’s a new plant-based player in the game: Burger King. Burger King has added a new chicken sandwich to its lineup, this time made of an Impossible patty. Adding to the chain’s line of Impossible products that already includes the Impossible Whopper and nuggets, this new chicken sandwich also joins the chicken sandwich wars that chains have been waging since the release of the Popeyes chicken sandwich. But now we also have the plant-based wars, with dozens of chains competing to be the first national plant-based chain. Will the big QSR players overtake the market with their own plant-based offerings?   Senior editor Ron Ruggless has more on the story.   Plus, catch up on all the top news of the day with our daily news recap at the beginning of each episode.   Be sure to subscribe to First Bite wherever you get your podcasts or on Castos, Spotify, or Apple Podcasts. ...

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